The St. Louis Cardinals have been a perfect five-for-five in deploying a different Opening Day shortstop every year since parting ways with 2006 World Series Most Valuable Player David Eckstein.
A hole hasn't been this tough to fill since the Exxon Valdez ran aground.
And the odds are good St. Louis will make it six years in a row next summer as Rafael Furcal, already a huge injury gamble, is coming off a major elbow injury with no timetable for recovery.
Sure, the club will look at late-season savior Pete Kozma next spring. If he somehow comes close to approximating the ridiculous .952 OPS he produced in 26 games this past season, the club may tab him to start. But with a career minor league OPS of .652 over six seasons, it's hard to put much faith in that happening.
Any fantasy baseball geek can tell you how poor the talent depth is at shortstop, and every general manager knows how well-stocked the Cardinals pipeline is with young, quality arms.
So the hot stove is fully stoked and already burning with juicy trade rumors.
Fan forums have linked the Cardinals to a number of intriguing shortstops including the oddly named Elvis Andrus and the marvelously side-burned J.J. Hardy.
But the trade that seems to make the most sense, in terms of both a long-term solution for the Cardinals and much-needed top pitching prospects for the other club, is a trade for the Indians' Asdrubal Cabrera.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss has already confirmed a trade for Cabrera is a real possibility, so let's examine the pros and cons should John Mozeliak end up pulling the trigger.